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Q & A

1. What training and experience do you have that makes you the expert in carpet cleaning?

2. How do the Bait and Switch Companies contact the Consumers?

3. What would be some of the things that would tip off a consumer that they are dealing with a bait and switch company?

4. When a carpet cleaner is in a consumer's home, what would alert a consumer that this company is not to be trusted?

5. What will a carpet cleaner do to try to convince a consumer that they must have costly extras?

6. How can a consumer protect themselves from a carpet cleaning rip off?

7. Are you a member of any trade associations that are working to eliminate bait and switch tactics?

8. What questions do you recommend that a consumer ask a Carpet Cleaning Company to determine if they are an ethical Company?

9. How do people get in touch with you?

Different Types of Carpet

Natural Fibers

Wool (Pros)

1. Excellent at hiding soil (no reflect/refract)
2. Strong elasticity, resilient
3. Excellent insulator
4. Moths only eat dirty wool
5. Good absorbency for dyeing
6. Naturally flame retardant
7. Releases soil well

Wool (Cons)

1. Very expensive
2. Fibers distort easily under high heat
3. Stains easily because of absorbency
4. Chemically sensitive above 8.5 pH and below 6.5 pH
5. Staple yarn/can cause to fuzz
6. Dissolves in bleach

Silk (Pros)

1. Very strong fiber
2. Lightweight, but can stretch up to 20%
3. Good insulator
4. Naturally flame resistant (up to 330 degrees); over 170 can cause untwisting of fibers

Silk (Cons)

1. If stretched, only retract 2%
2. Sensitive to bleach and high alkalinity

Cellulosic Fibers

Cotton (Pros)

1. Strong, and increases in strength when wet
2. Absorbent, good for dyeing
3. Static resistant
4. Heat resistant

Cotton (Cons)

1. Absorbency leads to slow drying
2. Easily stained
3. Easily mildewed
4. Highly flammable
5. Prone to shrinkage, browning, yellowing

Jute (Pros)-Used primarily in backings and entrance mats

1. Strong and elastic
2. Inexpensive
3. Good dimensional stability

Jute (Cons)

1. Prone to shrinkage when wet
2. Alkaline sensitive-browning and brittleness
3. Highly Flammable
4. Prone to mildew
5. Need to use absorbent powder to clean

Synthetic Fibers

Nylon (Pros)

  1. Excellent Strength
    2. Good elasticity-stretches and regains its shape and strength making it good for traffic areas
    3. Very abrasion resistant, even over wool
    4. Static resistant
    5. Heat sets very well
    6. Good resiliency, the best of all fibers
    7. Nonabsorbent-retains less than 8% of its weight in water allowing for faster drying
    8. Mildew resistant
    9. Responds well to professional cleaning
    10. Inexpensive to manufacture
    11. Good dye acceptance, re-coloring is cheaper than replacement

Nylon (Cons)

1. Good dye acceptance means it stains easily
2. Acid dyed; bleach, sun fading, and urine can cause color loss

Polyester (Pros)

1. Disperse dyed, resistant to bleaching, fading, and soiling dyes
2. Very heat resistant (Melts between 480-550 degrees)
3. Stain resistant (water-based)
4. Low absorbency-quick drying

Polyester (Cons)

1. Difficult to dye, must be solution dyed
2. Not resistant to oily stains, can be permanent
3. Can lose crimp leading to tangling and matting

Olefin/Polypropylene (Pros)

1. Very moisture resistant, only absorbs 1% of its weight in water
2. Very difficult to stain
3. Great for stadiums, pools, or other outdoor applications
4. Chemical/bleach resistant
5. Solution dyed/resistant to fading
6. Lightweight, only common carpet fiber that floats in water
7. Very strong
8. Good cleanability and soil releasing

Olefin/Polypropylene (Cons)

1. Not resilient, susceptible to crushing, matting, permanent indentations
2. Because it will lie down, it shows soiling faster
3. Very heat sensitive, can soften at 170 degrees, melt at 300
4. Hot solution hoses and quick connects can melt or distort
5. Shows jet marks if too hot
6. Susceptible to friction, moving furniture by dragging can cause burn marks or streaks
7. Difficult to dye because of low absorbency

Acrylic (Pros)

1. Wool-like properties; soft, lightweight, dull appearance
2. Stronger and more lightweight than wool
3. Solution dyed so more colorfast than wool
4. Good cleanability and soil release

Acrylic (Cons)

1. Low abrasion resistance, scratches easily, shows more soiling
2. Poor resiliency, can lead to nap reversal and permanent indentations
3. Acrylic is alkaline sensitive, can lead to browning


Rayon is regenerated cellulose fiber in which purified wood pulp and cotton linters have been converted into xanthate, which has been dissolved in diluted caustic soda. This solution is pumped through a sulfuric acid bath to solidify the fibers. The resulting rayon fiber is easily dyed with bright and vivid colors, and it is also resistant to mildew. Rayon is seldom used, however, due to the fact that it is neither resilient nor strong. It is often used in mop heads. It does tend to stain easily, and most rayon fibers will likely bleed during cleaning. The most likely place a carpet cleaner will encounter a rayon carpet (if at all) is in some small (8x10 or smaller) accent or decorator rugs.


Acetate is seldom used in carpet due to its poor resiliency and wear characteristics. It is characterized by a soft, silk-like hand, and a lightweight, fast-drying, high-lustered and inexpensive carpet.

Seven Insider Questions - How to Hire a Sacramento Carpet Cleaner

Consider seven questions to ask a carpet cleaning company or any service provider that you may hire to come into your home.

Good questions will give you incredible insight into a company, and also often reveal what they are made of.

Question #1: Ask your service provider, “Why should I choose your company above all others?

This 1st question usually catches people off guard and is actually kind of funny to see people hem and haw, and try to come up with a good answer. Saying, “Because we are the best” just will not work these days. A company will shoot off benefit after benefit stating why they are better. If a company can’t give facts confirming why they are the best, there is usually a reason why. Go by your gut feeling, and in most cases you will be right.

Question #2: Do you offer a guarantee in writing, and if so, what are the stipulations?

Many offer a guarantee that is often vague, if a guarantee is offered at all. Find companies that offer a 100% guarantee that is unrestricted. If you are not pleased, you shouldn’t be required to pay. End of story. Let the service provider take all the risk. The best companies do not mind taking the risk, because they are confident that their work is absolutely impeccable, and are willing to back it up in writing.

Question #3: How many references are you able to supply?

Most companies will have references, even if it’s just dear old Mom. But finding a company that can supply hundreds of references speaks volumes. Most people do not waste time writing a review and a thank you letter, unless they were extremely happy, so a company that has hundreds of happy clients in writing must be doing something right.

Question #4: How many years have you been in business?

In the carpet cleaning industry about 32% of all carpet cleaning firms go belly up each and every year. This is nearly 1/3 of the total industry. If it seems like you see a new carpet cleaning company every day as you drive down the street, you are not just imaging it. The superior firms are likely to stay around for a while.

Question #5: How many days is your guarantee good for?

Those firms that offer a lengthier guarantee, tend to use better and more expensive cleaning agents that aid in your carpet staying cleaner much longer. Those that use cheap detergents cannot give you an extended warranty because they leave a residue behind, causing the carpet to rapidly re-soil. So only use companies that offer a guarantee that extends 60 to 90 days after the cleaning. There's a good reason why some can offer this, and others can’t.

Question #6: What kind of training has the technician had and what certifications have you earned in this industry?

Some firms have been in business for 20 years, while others have been in business 1 year, 20 times. In other words, those that stay on the cutting edge have the information to do it correctly. Why is it that I hear clients say, “How did you get that stain out of my carpet when no one else has been able to?” Just understanding what type of carpet you have — its construction, and how diverse cleaning agents work can make the difference between disaster and success.

Question #7: Do you offer more than one method of cleaning?

Every carpet should not be cleaned with the same method. Just like cleaning your clothes, some need to be dry-cleaned and others washed with hot water, and some with cold. The finest firms recognize the differences, and will give you the perfect cleaning method for your particular kind of carpet.

Read more in my Consumer Awareness Guide
By Gallagher’s Carpet Care.

ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any informational storage or retrieval system without express written permission from the publisher.

While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this book, neither the Authors or the Publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions. Any slights of people or organizations are unintentional. If advice concerning legal or related matters is needed, the services of a qualified professional should be sought. This book is not intended for use as a source of legal or accounting advice. Also, some suggestions made in this book concerning marketing, product sales, or referral fees, etc., may have inadvertently introduced practices deemed unlawful in certain states and municipalities. You should be aware of the various laws governing business transactions or other business practices in your particular geographic location.

Any references to any persons or businesses, whether living or dead, existing or defunct, is purely coincidental.



Hi! This is Andy Gallagher. Thanks very much for your interest.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to provide you with information about carpet cleaning and help you choose a carpet cleaning company.

I'm the owner of Gallagher’s Carpet Care. Gallagher’s has been in the carpet cleaning business for almost 20 years. And in that time, I've learned that carpet cleaning is the subject of much confusion. In fact, people have so many misconceptions about carpet cleaning that I decided to offer this consumer education message so when you select a carpet cleaning company, you can make an informed, intelligent decision. In just a moment, I'll share with you six costly misconceptions about carpet cleaning.  Plus I'll offer four recommendations. And I'll give you seven questions you should ask a carpet cleaner before you invite him into your home.

Now here is
Misconception #1: You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet.

No. Dirt is an abrasive - like sandpaper. Every time you step on the carpet, you grind dirt into your carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife, causing it to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last nearly as long as a clean carpet. And while vacuuming helps — by itself, its simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do to your carpet and the faster it will wear out.

Misconception #2: The only reason to clean carpets is to get out the dirt.

No. As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust — and hundreds of other chemicals. When you and your family members come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria and chemicals in your hair and on your skin, clothing and shoes. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals, pollens and bacteria wind up — you guessed it — in your carpet.

If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems — one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungus, and chemicals in your carpet.

In addition, as you may know, tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 different chemical compounds, 43 of which cause cancer. And even if you don't smoke, those chemicals get on your shoes, you track them into your home and you leave them in your carpet.

If you're sensitive to cigarette smoke, you might find that you'll breath easier after you hire a company to get those harmful chemicals out of your carpet.

So, in addition to getting rid of dirt, another important reason to clean your carpet is to get rid of pollens, fungus, bacteria, chemicals and the tars and residue from tobacco smoke.

Misconception #3: One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.

No. You can choose from two primary methods: Dry-cleaning or hot water extraction. First, I'll explain dry-cleaning. Many people believe that dry-cleaning your carpet is like dry-cleaning your clothing. This is not true.  All carpet cleaning methods use water in one form or another.  Here are the three methods of dry-cleaning carpet.

When a carpet cleaner uses dry foam, he applies shampoo to your carpet, allow it to dry, and then sucks the dried shampoo into a vacuum.  Can you imagine applying shampoo to your hair, allowing it to dry, and then removing the shampoo from your head with a vacuum? This method can leave a residue in your carpet, which is one reason dry foam is not very effective.

The dry-chem method is similar to dry foam. The major difference is that when dry-chem is used, the company sets a large cotton bonnet on your carpet. Using a machine, the bonnet spins from side to side, absorbing the dirt that's in the carpet. After the bonnet is saturated with dirt, another cotton bonnet is applied. Bonnet cleaning is like trying to use a large towel to rub the dirt out of your carpet. Like dry foam, its not very effective.

The dry-compound method spreads an absorbent mixture that looks like wet sawdust all over your carpeting. Then the machine brushes the mixture into the carpet, which in theory causes dirt to absorb into the mixture.  When the mixture has dried, a vacuum cleaner sucks the material out of the carpeting. Because the carpet is not rinsed in any way, this method is not
very effective.

The second carpet cleaning method is called hot water extraction.  This is a fancy way of saying that a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure is forced into the carpet and then sucked out of the carpet.  This method is also referred to as steam cleaning even though steam is not used.

Shaw Industries, the world's largest carpet manufacturer, recommends hot water extraction and you can choose from two different types: First is portable extraction, which is done with a small machine.  The second is truck mount extraction which means the large cleaning machine is mounted in a truck or van. Not surprisingly, the truck mount extraction cleans much better because it heats the water to a higher temperature, and shoots the cleaning solution into the carpet at a higher pressure, which breaks up the dirt, bacteria and pollens. Then, the machine uses high suction to draw the dirt out of the carpet. This is the method my company uses.

No question, the most effective way to clean carpeting is with a hot-water unit mounted in a truck. It's the most powerful cleaning machine on the market and the only machine that thoroughly cleans your carpet of dirt, harmful bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens and tobacco residue.

Methods that use cold and even warm water remove dirt, but are not as effective as the hot-water truck mount method.

Some people believe that hot water damages your carpet, but this isn't true. By washing and then rinsing your carpet with hot water, we clean your carpet completely — in the same way that the person who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner than the person who takes only a sponge bath.

Misconception #4: Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly.

Not true. Many companies own hot-water cleaners, but a large number of employees don't know how to use them. You probably know someone who bought the newest computer on the market, but didn't learn how to use it for a year or more. The same is true with carpet cleaning machines. The company may own good equipment, but the employees may not know how to use it correctly. This is why it's important that you choose your carpet cleaner carefully.

The best carpet cleaning companies are those that have been certified.  A carpet cleaning company can not buy this certification.
The carpet cleaner must earn the certification through study, experience and the successful completion of formal, written examinations. Cleaners who are certified, in effect, earned a degree in carpet cleaning.

Misconception #5: The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire. Maybe, but not always. Here are two important points to consider.

Point #1: The price you see offered may not be for the services you want performed. Before you select a company, decide what you want to accomplish. If you want the carpet cleaner to remove only some of the dirt, you can choose from hundreds of companies that use small shampooers or other cleaning methods. Or, you can even rent a machine at the grocery store and do the job yourself.

On the other hand, if you want your carpet thoroughly cleaned — if you want to remove the harmful dirt, bacteria, pollens, chemicals and tobacco residues — then you need to hire a company that uses a hot water cleaner mounted in a truck. This is the only way to assure that your carpet remains healthy and free from dirt, disease-causing bacteria, and hurtful chemicals.

So remember that the price you see offered may not be for the services you want performed.

Point #2: The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay.

Many homeowners have learned that the low price they saw advertised was not the amount they were charged.

If you've ever hired a carpet cleaner, you too may have been the victim of false or misleading advertising. You probably learned the hard way that some carpet cleaners offer a cheap price — usually between $9.95 and $19.95 per room — and then pressure you into paying a lot more once they get inside your home. Some of them may even break the law by using illegal bait and switch tactics.

As in all businesses and professions, the carpet cleaning industry has its share of bad apples. I take no pleasure in telling you this, but some are unethical, and sadly, a few are dishonest. By their misleading advertising and false promises, they cast a dark shadow on our entire industry.

Then you'll find other carpet cleaners — professionals like me who work hard to earn your trust and respect.

As a way of improving our profession, I've dedicated my business to educating the public. The only way
you can make an intelligent decision is to have all the facts you need. This is why I've created this message.

Misconception #6: Any honest carpet cleaning company should be able to give you an exact price quote over the telephone.

I wish this were true, but it isn't. Consumers often think that if they want to clean four rooms and the price is $6 per room, then the price will be $24.

But this isn't always true. Honest, reputable carpet cleaning companies usually price carpet cleaning by the square foot. So if you'd like me to tell you the exact cost of cleaning your carpet, I need to know the exact number of square feet that you want cleaned. To get an accurate measurement, I have a measuring wheel I use to calculate the exact size of the carpet area.

You'll be glad to know that the carpet area to be cleaned is not nearly as great as most people think. For example, if you want your entire home cleaned and your home is 2000 square feet, the amount of carpeting to be cleaned might be only 1200 square feet. This is because most home measurements are outdoor measurements.  Plus, I deduct the area taken up by walls, room dividers and the like. The result is that the actual area to be cleaned is usually only about 60% of the square footage of the home.

So even though I can't give you an exact quote over the telephone, here are things I consider when quoting a price. 

First, the type of carpet. Certain types of carpet are harder to clean than others. So before I can give you a quote, I need to know the type of carpet you want cleaned.

Second, the amount of soiling. Carpet that hasn't been cleaned for ten years will take longer to clean than carpet that was cleaned within the last six months.

Third, the amount of furniture that has to be moved. If we have to move your furniture, the bid must include that labor. But if you move your furniture, you'll save money.

To recap, I consider the type of carpet, the amount of soiling, and the amount of furniture that has to be moved. So, as you can now imagine, every quotation is different.

If you're thinking about having your carpets cleaned, I offer these four recommendations:

Recommendation #1: Make a commitment to yourself to get your carpets cleaned. The longer they remain dirty, the sooner they'll wear out. Plus the longer you have to breathe all the pollens, fungus, chemicals and dust mites
that live in your carpet.

Recommendation #2: List your objectives. Do you want only the dirt removed? That's something you could do with a rented machine. Or do you want the bacteria, fungus and chemicals removed, which will require a hot water truck mount cleaner, like I use. Do you want to work with an honest, reputable company, or are you willing to risk working withthe company that offers you the lowest price, knowing that company might not be in business tomorrow.

Recommendation #3: Ask questions. The way you learn about a company is to ask specific questions and listen carefully to the answers.

Here are the questions I suggest you ask:

1. What method of carpet cleaning do you recommend?
2. What type of equipment do you use to clean carpet?
3. What does your equipment remove from my carpet?
4. How often should I get my carpets cleaned?
5. What training have you had in cleaning carpets?
6. Are you a member of any trade associations and if so, which ones?
7. Are you certified, and will you show me your certificate?

Recommendation #4: Once you're satisfied that you're working with an honest, competent professional, invite him into your home and ask for a specific quotation in writing. A written quotation gives you the assurance that you know exactly what your job will cost — no surprises.

By following these four recommendations, you'll gain all the information you need to make an informed, intelligent decision. If you want a quick, cheap carpet cleaning job, many companies in the phone book can help you.  Or you can rent a shampooer and do the job yourself.

But if you want your carpeting to be completely and thoroughly cleaned — removing the bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens, and tobacco products — then I invite you to call me.

I'll be happy to answer your questions, provide you a cost estimate over the telephone, or come into your home and give you a free written quotation, without obligation of any kind. To reach me, call 916-300-9010

Or, if you prefer, e-mail me at and I will give you a call.

Here's one last point: I know that many consumers are skeptical about carpet cleaning companies. Before I got into the business, I was skeptical too. So in addition to dedicating my business to consumer education, I do one more thing as well. I guarantee my work. That's right. I fully guarantee every carpet cleaning job we do. If you aren't happy with our work, we'll reclean the area for free. And if you still aren't pleased, you pay nothing.  Not one cent. What could be more fair?

As a matter of fact, add this question to the list. Question #8 is "Do you guarantee your work?" Not all companies do, and it's important that you have this information before you make your decision.

Thanks very much. I hope you found this consumer message helpful.  If you have questions or comments, or if you'd like to schedule a free, in-home quotation, please e-mail me at Or call me at 916-300-9010

On behalf of Gallagher’s Carpet Care. — I thank you for your kind attention.

- Andy Gallagher

25 Reasons to Use Gallagher’s Carpet Care

  1. Gallagher’s Carpet Care is Rated #1 in California
    According to we are ranked #1 out of 4192 carpet cleaning firms in California.

  2. Testimonials
    Our office maintains over 5 hundred personal testimonials from more than satisfied clients.

  3. Slow Down
    Most other companies can clean up to 5 to 10 houses in one day. We can only clean on the average of 2 to 3 houses in one day. It is not that we are slow, but that we are very, very thorough and make sure that you get more than what you pay for. We don't cut corners, we clean them.

  4. Over 25 Years in Business
    In the U.S.A. the statistics shows a staggering 31-32% of all carpet cleaners go out of business every single year. We must be doing something right.

  5. 200% Guarantee
    If you are not happy with our services, we will give you a full refund and also hire another carpet cleaning firm of your choice to re-clean any area and we will flip the bill.

  6. Stays Cleaner Longer
    With our unique process, you will notice that your carpets will stay cleaner much longer than with other cleaning services. (Sorry, I cannot reveal all my secrets)

  7. No Sticky Residue Left Behind
    We hear the horror stories that once you get your carpets cleaned, they only get dirty more quickly. This will not happen in the Gallagher Cleaning Process.

  8. Spots Do Not Come Back
    Our clients are amazed that the spots do not come back after Gallagher's clean their carpet's.
    (It is truly a rare occasion that a spot will reappear after we clean a carpet but we stand behind our work)

  9. Triple Dry Pass
    Our goal is to extract more water out. We take time to go back over the carpet two, three, and at times four different times to leave a cleaner and dryer carpet.

  10. Three Times Cleaner
    We have found in the cleaning process that every 18 degrees that the water temperature is increased over 118 degrees, that the power is actually doubled. The average machine reaches about 190 degrees. Out equipment has been made to reach temperatures of over 240 degrees and giving the ability to get the carpet three times cleaner.

  11. Expert Advice for the Sacramento Bee
    Andy Gallagher is the expert that has answered many questions for the Sacramento Bee. You may have seen them in the California Life section under the Weekend Warrior in the past. 

  12. Only the Best Cleaning Agents
    We are not afraid to buy absolutely the best stuff made on the planet. We make sure that you get what you pay for.

  13. Able Technicians
    Each one of our technicians are uniformed and clean cut  and have been certified by the IICRC.

  14. 31 Day Guarantee
    We are so convinced that our cleaning is the best that we will stand behind our work a full 31 days after we come to your home.

  15. Referral Only Company
    Referral companies live off of word of mouth advertising. Referral companies speak for themselves. If they are good, they thrive, and if not, hasta la vista.

  16. Exceeding Expectations
    Our philosophy is not just to do a good job; we feel that we have failed if all you got was a good job. There are other companies out there that can give you a good job. Our goal is to dramatically exceed your expectations and we know that if we can do this we will be back again and again.

  17. Free Life-time Supply of Spotter
    We offer all of our clients a FREE, life-time supply of Gallagher’s carpet spotter.

  18. Multiple Cleaning Methods
     Steam Clean. Dry-Clean. Carpets are made out of different fibers and they need to be cleaned differently to get the best results.

  19. Certification
    Our company is certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, And Restoration Certification: the world’s most recognized body certification for carpet and upholstery cleaners.

  20. Get More Than What You Paid For
    Many of our clients just come out and say it. We feel that if you get the better end of the transaction, you will use us over and over and tell all your family and friends about us.

  21. Follow-up
    We will call you a few days after your cleaning job to insure that you are completely thrilled with our services.

  22. One-stop Cleaning and Repair Service
    We can take care of most all your cleaning needs in one stop. Services we provide are:

    • • Carpet Cleaning • Pet Odor Removal  • Carpet Protector  • Rug Cleaning  • Carpet Dyeing  • Tile Cleaning  
      • Upholstery Cleaning  • Carpet Stretching  • Smoke Odor Removal  • Leather Cleaning  • Carpet Repairs  
      • Stain Removal  • Air Duct Cleaning
  23. Protecting Your Carpet in Two Ways
    When you have us apply a protector to your carpet, we will protect it twice:

    A. Fluorochemical – Most commonly known as Scotchguard or Dupont Teflon. This treatment mainly helps resist dry soil but it also helps to keep spills from penetrating the dye sites in the carpet fibers.

    B. Acid Dye Blockers – Acid Dye Blockers are basically clear dyes that fill the extra dye sites in the fiber. This helps other dyes (such as red dye in a drink) from penetrating into the carpet fiber.

  24. We Reset the Carpet Yarns

  25. We Restore Some of the Twist